Stat bonus to skills

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Athletics gets a stat modifier from strength.

Eladrin get a +2 bonus to History.

My question; do stat/racial bonuses only get aplied if the character is trained in that skill, or is it universal?

For if it is universal, unless you have no stat bonuses to speak of, you should have at least a '1' in the skill, trained or not, instead of a '0'.

If I have an Eladrin wizard who is not trained in History, does he still get the +2 due to his race?

If my character has a +2 strength modifier, does it set an untrained Athletics at 2?

Or are they both 0, due to not having training?

Please forgive me if I'm asking the same question more than once. I do know that the understanding of the question depends on the proper wording, which is why I ask  one so oftem in varying ways, just to make sure who I'm asking understands my meaning.

It's universal.

When you get a bonus to a skill, unless that bonus specifically states that it is conditional, you get that bonus to the skill.  Period.  Further, bonuses to skills apply even if you are untrained.  Further, unless the bonus specifically states that you must fulfill a certain condition to gain that bonus, that bonus will always apply*.

So, yes, your ability modifier and racial bonuses apply to your skills, trained or not.  Likewise, you also gain your 1/2 level bonus to skills, trained or not.

Though do keep in mind that normal stacking rules apply.  The Short Version: Untyped bonus always stack with other bonuses, including with other untyped bonuses.  Typed bonuses, however, do not stack, they overlap, with only the best one applying.

Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
wildside316, I was going to bring up something similar at our next game. I wanted to make sure that everyone was increasing their trained an untrained skills as they progress in level. We need to start having these discussions before each session.
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